Options for Eye Care in Canada: Laser Surgery vs. Prescription Glasses

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When it comes to the matter of vision correction, there are several factors to consider.

On the one hand, many Canadian opt for Eyeglasses & Contact Lenses. With a minimum barrier for entry, an Eye Exam along with inexpensive glasses or contacts are an attractive (and often much more realistic) option when it comes to 20/20 vision.

For the remainder of Canadians, there is Laser Eye Surgery.

Available procedures for laser eye surgery include Lasik, PRK, Lasek, and epi-Lasik.


Lasik is an abbreviation for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, a kind of laser eye surgery designed to change the shape of the cornea to eliminate or reduce the need for glasses and contact lenses in cases of severe myopia (nearsightedness). It is an ambulatory procedure done in an ophthalmology office or clinic. The main advantage of Lasik is that it is a procedure that can be done very quickly, and unlike PRK, both eyes can be operated on during the same session. Also, it is virtually painless and the healing process is faster.

The disadvantage of Lasik is its price tag. The procedure can cost as much as several thousands of dollars per eye.


PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy. It is a procedure that flattens the cornea and is suitable for those suffering from myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. PRK is highly accurate in correcting many cases of nearsightedness. According to statistics, around 80% of patients have 20/20 vision one year after undergoing PRK. However, the healing process for PRK can be painful with a lot of discomfort.

It is also rather expensive, costing almost as much as Lasik.


Lasek is an abbreviation for laser epithelial keratomileusis. It is a relatively newer procedure that combines the features of Lasik and PRK. The advantages of Lasek include less complications involved compared to Lasik and PRK, and it causes less dry eye. Its disadvantages are a longer healing period, where the patient will sometimes not fully recover functional vision for one to two weeks, and more pain and discomfort compared with Lasik.


Epi-Lasik is like a cross between Lasik and Lasek. It is a procedure more appropriate for patients with steep corneas.

Epi-Lasik has less risk of complications, but can be more painful than Lasik.


Whether you are simply looking for a great pair of eyeglasses or exploring surgical options, consult your doctor regarding the best solution for your condition and needs.

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